7 Shortcuts to a Perfect Summer Party
From the prettiest paper plates to the easiest cocktails
You’ve got the patio. You’ve got the grill. You’ve halfway to a perfect summer party--no need to stress over the rest. From affordable decorations to catered (shhh!) sides, here are our seven tricks for pulling it off without melting down.
Pick Up Dessert
You don’t have to make all of the food. When it’s dessert time, bring out beautiful fruit tarts loaded with seasonal produce from the new Lakeview bakeshop Southern France. (The spot is helmed by Vosges Haut Chocolat’s former head of research and development.)
1405 W. Irving Park Rd.; 773-857-1478 or southernfrancechicago.com
The Fourth is coming up and there?s nothing more festive--or affordable--than a table decorated with these tiny American flags ($3 for 12) from the West Town party supply store Doolin?s. Add them to flowers or spring for the little stands that make them wave just so.
511 N. Halsted St.; 800-350-4870 or doolins.com
Cater Your Sides
See #2: There's no need to cook until you’re too tired to eat. As part of Mariano’s ultimate domination of Chicago, the grocery chain always has colorful tropical fruit and impressive sushi platters ready to go, plus all of the mayo-based salads and slaws you could ever dream of. Arrange in a nice bowl and don’t apologize.
Locations throughout the city and suburbs; marianos.com
Provide Easy Entertainment
With dizzy people whacking away at a festive paper sculpture, your party just went from so-so to so much fun. The biggest selection of piñatas in town is at Dulcelandia, a local Mexican candy store that has more options than you can, um, shake a stick at. Or, make your own star piñata with this DIY tutorial.
3855 W. Fullerton Ave.; 773-235-7825 or dulcelandia.com